COLLEGES

Ohio State jumped LSU to No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings with two weeks left to go before selection Sunday.

LSU slipped to second Tuesday night and Clemson remained No. 3 while Georgia held on at four. If playoff history holds form, three of those top four teams will reach the semifinals.

Alabama remained No. 5 in the selection committee’s third rankings, with Utah moving up a spot to No. 6. The Utes are the only Pac-12 team in the top 10 after Oregon dropped eight spots to 14th.

Oklahoma is seventh followed by Minnesota, Baylor and Penn State.

In each of the first five years of the playoff, three of the top four teams in the rankings heading into rivalry weekend reached the semifinals, including the No. 1 team every time.

Ohio State beat Penn State last week 28-17, its third victory of the season against a team currently ranked along with No. 12 Wisconsin and No. 18 Cincinnati. LSU has beaten No. 5 Alabama, No. 11 Florida and No. 15 Auburn.

HOCKEY

NHL: Bill Peters’ status as the Calgary Flames’ coach – and whatever future he might have in the sport – have been placed into question while the NHL and the team investigate allegations he directed racist slurs at a Nigerian-born player in the minors 10 years ago.

Asking for patience, GM Brad Treliving said Peters remains with the Flames after the allegations raised by Akim Aliu on social media a day earlier. Peters, who has not commented, stayed at the team hotel and was not with the Flames as they practiced for Wednesday night’s game in Buffalo, New York.

Aliu alleged Peters “dropped the N bomb several times towards me in the dressing room in my rookie year because he didn’t like my choice of music.” It happened during the 2009-10 season while the two were with the Chicago Blackhawks minor-league affiliate in Rockford, Illinois.

The NHL called the alleged behavior “repugnant and unacceptable,” but held off commenting pending further investigation.

 •  The NHL suspended Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak for two games for elbowing Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin in the face on Monday night.

• Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez had surgery on his right wrist that was cut by a skate and is expected to make a full recovery.

Doctors repaired the radial artery and two superficial radial nerves at Keck Medical Center, the team said. He will be evaluated weekly, but the team doesn’t know when he will return.

• Kaapo Kahkonen made 32 saves in his NHL debut, defenseman Ryan Suter scored the winner early in the third period and Minnesota beat host New Jersey, which got credit for a goal that the NHL said should not have counted.

Zach Parise and Jordan Greenway also scored as the Wild extended their point-scoring streak to seven games (4-0-3).

Jesper Boqvist scored the disputed goal and Kyle Palmieri tallied on a power play as the Devils continued to alternate good games and bad games. Louis Domingue, making his second straight start, had 26 saves.

While the Wild were protecting the lead, the NHL issued a statement saying Boqvist’s earlier goal should not have counted because the referees failed to uphold a challenge by Wild Coach Bruce Boudreau against Wayne Simmonds playing the puck with a high stick before the goal.

BASKETBALL

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks All-Star forward Khris Middleton says he’s ready to return to the floor after missing two-plus weeks with a left thigh contusion.

After the Bucks’ shootaround on Tuesday, Middleton said he’s “gonna go” Wednesday at home against the Atlanta Hawks.

Middleton has been sidelined since he suffered the injury Nov. 10 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. His return is ahead of schedule as he was initially expected to miss 3 to 4 weeks.

• The Atlanta Hawks said guard Kevin Huerter will miss their upcoming trip while he recovers from a shoulder injury.

Huerter strained his left rotator cuff when fouled by Denver’s Nikola Jokic on Nov. 12. He was examined again by team doctors Monday night and has been cleared to begin limited on-court work.

WNBA: The Indiana Fever hired Marianne Stanley as their new head coach.

Stanley had been an assistant with the Washington Mystics since 2010 and was part of last season’s WNBA championship run. She was named the 2002 WNBA coach of the year with Washington and has served as an assistant with the Los Angeles Sparks and New York Liberty.

BASEBALL

MAJORS: Catcher Dustin Garneau agreed to a one-year contract with the Houston Astros, where he figures to compete for a backup role.

Garneau, 32, hit .244 with three homers and 14 RBI in 35 games last year for the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland, which claimed him off waivers on Aug. 3.

• The Seattle Mariners added another option for their rotation by agreeing to a one-year contract with Kendall Graveman that guarantees the right-hander $2 million as he returns from Tommy John surgery.

Graveman, who turns 29 next month, would earn $8 million if Seattle exercises a 2021 option and he pitches at least 150 innings in each season.

He has not pitched in the major leagues since May 11, 2018, for Oakland and had surgery that July 24. Cut by the Athletics after the season, he signed a $575,000, one-year deal with the Chicago Cubs and made a pair of three-inning minor league injury rehabilitation outings on Aug. 22 and Sept. 1.

• The Kansas City Royals have changed hands from David Glass to an ownership group led by John Sherman and that includes actor Eric Stonestreet and local businessmen.

• The Arizona Diamondbacks signed catcher Stephen Vogt to a one-year contract with a club option and vesting options for 2021.

Vogt, 35, is a two-time All-Star with the Oakland A’s in 2015 and 2016. He played last season with San Francisco, hitting .263 with 10 homers and 40 RBI in 99 games.


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